It’s a fact, we are all living longer.  In fact, Australia has one of the longest life expectancies in the world with both men and women expected to reach their 80th birthdays![1] This is great news, but for many it poses a very real problem: I might live past the ripe old age of 80 but what if my money runs out when I’m 75? Or even 70?

Like many things in life, the key to your retirement is in the planning.  Making sure you understand what actions you take today, or don’t take, can impact your future retirement picture.

There are many misconceptions and terrible clichés that surround the word “retirement”.  We’ve all seen the ads, and many of us will conjure up the image of an old grey haired couple walking along the beach, or taking a drive as they live a life of repeated weekends.  But really that is an outdated notion of retirement!  Just for starters, a quarter of Australians aged over 65 will face retirement alone and not as a couple[2].  What we know, is that retirement is your opportunity to do what you really want – realise your dreams, travel, volunteer, spend time with the grandkids or try something new.  What you are retiring from is paid full time work – not life!  But that can be a little scary too.  Once you are retired you will have to make the money last, and opportunities to top up the bank balance aren’t always easy to come by.  You need to have enough money to make those dreams, whatever they are, come to fruition.

To take from Lewis Carrol and the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland “If you don’t know where you want to go then it doesn’t matter which path you take”.

So, the first step in retirement planning is working out what you want to do.

What are your goals? 
What do you dream of doing in retirement?

Don’t worry if you don’t have clear goals set out yet… we can help with that.  In fact, our Discovery Meeting has helped many of our clients to really work through all their thoughts and set some clearer goals for their future.

So, if the first step is to know where you are going, then the second step is to work out how to get you there!  This is when some strategies will come into play.  As your Advisers, we’ll need to look at what you have now and what you’ll need in the future if you are going to realise those dreams.  We’ll work with you, putting these strategies and plans into action, so that when you come to take that final step and retire from full time work you are not feeling like you are also retiring from life!

There’s a lot that goes into making sure this is specific for you and your dreams.  You see things like high growth investments can sometimes mean high risk and volatility, and if the mere thought of that will keep you awake at night then it’s not the right strategy for you.  It’s all about knowing you to make sure the strategies fit with you, your current lifestyle and your future aspirations.

It’s true, for many Australians Superannuation will be their main source of income in retirement.  But what about other investments?  Do you know how investments outside of Super will impact your retirement plans? Do you know how they all interact?  What happens if you have a lot of assets but not a lot of income…can you still receive the pension or Centrelink assistance? 

More and more we have new clients coming to us asking for help with this very aspect of retirement.  Often, we hear the message that trying to work through the mountain of paperwork with Centrelink is near impossible!  Described by many as a minefield of forms, phone calls and on-hold music, after attempting to take on Centrelink alone, new clients have reached out and found our expertise and assistance invaluable.  When you have the experience and knowledge that comes from working with Centrelink for retirement on a daily basis the process can be smoothed and easier to manage.



This information is of a general nature only and neither represents nor is intended to be personal advice on any particular matter. Fairway Financial Advice strongly suggests that no person should act specifically on the basis of the information in this document, but should obtain appropriate professional advice based on their personal circumstances.Always read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement so you are aware of the full features and implications.

[1] Reflecting a Nation: Stories from the 2011 Census, 2012–2013

[2] Abs media release “Life Expectancy and Deaths Hit Historic Highs” 12 nov 2015

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